A big congratulations to BABOON, winner of the #UNWRAP award, a regional challenge for the prevention and reduction of single-use plastic packaging in the food and beverage sector in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The winner presented their new packaging for delivery service at the Innovation Fest, where it received the Award.
The challenge, launched in July 2019 by the Switchers Fund in collaboration with Innovation Nest and SCP/RAC, aims to unwrap the future of food and beverage by addressing packaging solutions and business models for tackling plastic packaging value chains in a circular economy and reduce negative effects of plastic leakage into the environment, while keeping the plastic material in a closed loop.
The guidelines to the challenged defined a number of different approaches that can be taken to tackle the issue, from resource efficient plastic, single-use recyclable plastic, single-use of alternative materials, the reuse, refill & rewash strategy or more desirable options such zero-waste packaging alternatives where packaging can be phased out entirely.
Following a strict evaluation criteria, experts on plastic pollution, entrepreneurship and circular economy screened all the applications received by 9th September, which included ambitious ideas to developed projects by entrepreneurs and SMEs and down selected the 4 best candidates. Aspects such as the effectiveness of the solution, impact, added value to the region, innovative nature and originality, as well as its replicability and scalability were considered.
Ms Jules Banning trained the 4 candidates at a boot camp over 25th – 30th of September to better define their strategy and learn how to deliver a quality pitch. After careful evaluation of each proposed alternative, 6 jury members namely, Mr. Dejan Tonic – Associate EBRD, Mr. Enkelejd Musabelliu – Consultant at Abkons, Ms. Fabiola Duro and Ms. Erind Alickolli – INN Cofounders, Mr. Pedro Fernández and Kimberley de Miguel project managers at SCP/RAC reached a consensus.
The awarded initiative is Baboon Recyclable Package Project lead by Ms Xheni Maloku, with her team Ms Genti Selenica (Ideator), Mr Xhulio Selenica (Designer) and Mr Ilir Miho (Founder of Argjiro Package Manufacture).
The BABOON project decided on an alternative material single-use packaging approach by designing and supplying a paper based packaging system in which to transport and deliver food and beverages through the already established food delivery service in Albania: Baboon Food Delivery. This new system aims to replace the plastic packaging currently used with sustainably sourced raw materials that will be assembled in Albania. This young team has an even more ambitious goal: to ensure efficient segregation and collection of the packaging Baboon delivers in order for it to be recycled, keeping all of the materials in the loop and out of the environment.
Ms Xheni Maloku, on behalf of her team, presented their initiative at the INNOVATION FEST that took place on the 24TH of 25TH of October in Tirana, Albania. The jury representatives Dejan Tonic (EBRD) and Pedro Fernández (SCP/RAC) handed the award to Ms Maloku in a dedicated session, which also served to raise awareness on the opportunity to include social and environmental responsibilities within early stage businesses. This event was also the kick-start to their incubation training where they will develop their initiative and receive seed funding to invest in their idea. In this regard, the focus will be on setting up an effective collection and recycling system to avoid packaging waste leakage into the environment.
Stay tuned for more on the on the #Unwrap award via our social media and websites: